With the recent tragedy in Colorado, I found it important to share my thoughts on everyone taking part in their areas to keep our waterways clean. Know that putting giant plugs on your areas mines and drilling facilities is not what I am talking about. But working on a more local level is just as important as a regional government level.
Recently I had the opportunity to lead a volunteer effort to help clean up my portion of water my business sits on, we broke the 13 mile section into 4 parts, each its own weekend, and met up at preplanned points on our kayaks with the purpose to cleaning up that section. We had a pontoon boat follow us around on our paddle to help us with the loads and loads of trash we were taking out the our water way.
Putting this together was easier that I thought it would be, people came out so easily for a chance to help clean up their area, and of course I’m sure the plug of “Free Lunch” didn’t hurt either. However, I was so impressed with the effort people were getting into over pulling up tires from the mud, or old pipes, or even trudging through the mud to pick up old cups or baseball caps.
These people did not do this for anything other than to clean up the water; there was no promise or anticipation of media publications for anything we were doing.
One large scare on the paddle came when we paddled up, with our kayaks full of trash, to a large sign on the water which read “Welcome to Seneca Lake drinking water to 62,000 people.”
Planning one of these paddles will not be hard, and people will come out to help clean up their area. Getting people involved in cleaning up the area is a great way to get beginners to try kayaking for the first time, a great way to meet new people with like minded priorities, as well as a great way to build awareness to your area. Cleaning up the waterways is a national issue, but it is important to know that the solution is a local one. It is important to get our waterways clean, for both us, and the environment.